By Sue Stevens, Assistant Curator Textiles
With the 100 year anniversary of World War One fast approaching, I am currently researching our WWI Uniform Collection.
The first part of my research is to source the original donor records, where I look for any information to record against the tunic, and if I am lucky the record could possibly record the name of the person the tunic belonged to and which campaigns they served in, (which I might add does not always happen).
Once I have done this and a name is sourced I then go back to our WWI Nominal Rolls, and check the Auckland Cenotaph Database and Paperspast sites on the internet. Once I have gathered all the information which is available regarding the person, I then add it onto our Collection Management System (Vernon’s database) along with a photograph of the item.
For example one search started with a WWI Tunic belonging to Thomas Screaton, and at the end of the search I had discovered the following information regarding this soldier:
12/32 Lieutenant Thomas Gerald Norman Screaton, 15th North Auckland Regiment, Auckland Infantry Battalion. Killed In Action at Gallipoli on 8th May 1915.
Thomas Screaton was born on the 28 January 1891, the son of Mrs J. Screaton of Helensville, Auckland and the late Frederick Norman Screaton. Thomas was a Bookkeeper by trade and was attested into the New Zealand Army on the 13thAugust 1914. Thomas embarked on the 16th October 1914 from Auckland on either the Star of India or Waimana troopships with the Auckland Infantry Battalion for Suez, Egypt. Lieutenant Thomas Screaton was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on 8 May 1915 at Helles, the ‘Daisy Patch’, at the age of 23. He is remembered in the Twelve Tree Copse (New Zealand) Memorial, Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery Helles, Turkey.
“Lest We Forget”